Austrian Startups Stammtisch or how to hide from investors
So, that´s what we learned yesterday from the three people on stage at the Austrian Startup Stammtisch #46. „At least, you need money. That´s the brutal truth“, Oliver Holle, CEO of Speedinvest, pointed out the deep truth of the evening. He discussed together with Tobias Homberger, founder of myclubs, and Lisa Fassl, aaia. The investment facts: Speedinvest is spending in average about 500k per deal and every forth investment goes into a pre-seeds-startup. Second truth: Just 10 % of the companies pitching to AAIA wouldn´t catch one of the 200 angels from their universe. Ask Lisa Fassl, it´s not that easy to get your ticket. The average investment of the aaia angels is about 125k.
So, if you really need cash
Do it the myclubs way. Raise the shit out of publics grants. FFG, AWS, get whatever you can catch and do it fast. Homberger showed superiour skills in fundraising while simultaneously fighting with his sports aggregator against Rocket Internet, that Berlin Wall of callcenters and sales guys. In that particular case, you have to keep the traction high. Homberger raised four rounds since April 2015. For the last one he chased Hansi Hansmann for 18 months. Afterwards he saved Vienna in an epic fight against Rockets´ SoMuchMore (later aquired by Urban Sports Club). After loosing almost the whole country. Now he tries to win back Graz and Linz. This is fucking Sparta! Or this guy knows how to tell his story.
Get a false friend
When you get in touch with angel investors or even VCs, be sure the chemistry fits. Imagine the following: You have the money and you want to spend it. But the guy who puts you in this luxurious situation in the first place begs to differ? He just doesn´t choose your path? If he sees things slightly in an opposite way? Just because an investor thinks that you are cool, doesn´t mean that everything will work well. Take a second look, if someone just made the step out of a corporation. Holle: „A good investor has experience. He knows how to read a cap table and understands the legal part.“ Bonus: the investor was a founder in his former life.
One coffee, one page, signed, 1 million cash. You know the stories, right? Won´t happen to you. The investing process will take time. Seriously, a lot of time. Empty wallet, but endless discussions. In a freaky high probability you need to be patient. Lisa Fassl spoke about weeks. Calculate with months.
Spread the shares
Take the cash from your dad, but keep the shares. With a spoiled cap table it won´t be easy to convince an investor. If you share more than 30 percent of your company with non-operationals, you´re gonna lose the momentum. Take your shares and run. About 60 % of the shares in founders´ hands should be it.
Don´t read Vice
You probably heard about the description of people banging their heads againts the walls of their appartements fearing out of missing the best evening of their lives in a bar around the corner. You surely read about it in Vice. Play this game with your future investors. Use the power of FOMO. Be the hot girl in the bar around the corner. Make sure the investors think that they are missing out the best opportunity of their lifetime if they let you go without their accompaniment.
Get stuck in your business case
If the market doesn´t buy your idea, then it is perhaps not the best one. Don´t get stuck. Change the patterns, flip the script, and go back to the start. In case you still want to work together.